By Max Chesnes, Treasure Coast Newspapers USA
April 27, 2021
HOBE SOUND – A grassroots initiative to connect nearly 70,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat is gaining traction among Martin County officials and environmentalists who envision a bustling ecological corridor between two Florida state parks.
The Loxa-Lucie Headwaters Initiative, spearheaded by three environment nonprofits, is a multi-year project to acquire and conserve thousands of acres of land threatened by development between Jonathan Dickinson and Atlantic Ridge Preserve state parks. Through purchasing patches of forsale land located in an ecologically rich area, the group hopes to form a snaking expanse of lush natural space where animals such as bobcats, gopher tortoises and a vast array of birds can roam between parks.
The plan is bold and expansive, said Greg Braun, executive director of Guardians of Martin County and one of eight members on the initiative’s steer-ing committee. “We’ve got millions of dollars worth of properties that are deserving of this conservation,” Braun told T CPalm last week. “So we’re taking it a bite at a time.” That first bite begins with the group’s initial phase of land acquisition, which hopes to purchase 138 acres along a tw omile tract on the north side of Bridge Road.